It all started with a doll house my daughter got 1,5 years ago
We didn't take much toys from Spain when we arrived here in September 2017, and when we had a temporary apartment for some months while it was a very cold winter, we knew we would have to buy some decent toys for her to play with. As it was winter, I was in quite some pain, so we'd be inside more than during summer. At first we found this doll house at LIDL supermarket, it seemed better on the box than it turned out after my boyfriend put it together though. The best thing inside the box was the (very heavy!) wooden car, which still makes me a bit nervous because if it will ever land on someone's toes, they will be broken for sure! She played with it but she wasn't very fond of it for at least another year. Since then it has become on of her favourite things to play with, and especially the past 6 months she's very imaginative playing with the dolls and always tucking them in as well.. :)
I've always found the doll house boring
It looks very cheap, and I never liked the plain back side. When I was thinking about what to use for a reward board for my daughter to potty train her, I couldn't think of anything at first. We don't have older stuff in here, as we came her with not much stuff. So no attic to look for unused material or something. But then I looked at the doll house and realized this would make a funny reward board if I'd give it some paint and use some velcro fasteners to stick the rewards on the house. This was the back of the house:
As you can see, boring! I bought some things to create rewards to put on the back, but first it needed some paint. As my daughter is a fan (like most girls lol) of pink, I decided to use that combined with blue and green. That colour combination reminds me of a Dutch clothing brand for children that I loved in Holland. Lief! Lifestyle, I have used this colour combination for so many of my handcrafted childrens hair accessories when I still had my webshop and they sold like a charm!
As you can see my daughter has been "creative" herself as well
Lately I have found some places in the house (like the walls, ouch) that have been drawn on, oops. She does it when I'm in the kitchen or not paying attention for a short while, and she knows she's not allowed to. Let's just stick to the fact that she loves being creative, and leave it with that haha. Her doll house also got targeted, I can't really blame her for wanting to pimp up the house a bit.
I just hoped I could cover it up a bit with paint, but I was quite sure it would still show a bit through the paint.
While adding the first layer of the green paint, I had my doubts how it would look when it was dried up.
But I must say once the second layer was there, and the sides were painted as well, it seemed to cover the drawings up pretty good.
I'm a perfect painter, so don't mind the spots where I accidently touched the other colour.. luckily my daughter doesn't mind it, and was very happy with the cool colours on her doll house. Which was the most important thing.
Now it was time to start turning the back side into a reward board
The whole purpose of pimping my daughters doll house was to create a reward board for her. With little options in the house (and lack of creative ideas haha), I decided the back of the doll house was perfect for this. But the house had been standing in the kitchen, painted, for me to finally think of some creative ways to make it look more appealing for a reward board. And it didn't come.. but the clock was ticking, as she needed to be potty trained before preschool started. I had no choice but to accept that it was not really finished and to my liking, and start using it as is. As she loves getting smiley stickers as a reward for doing something good, I decided to cut the foam into rounds, and draw a smiley on them.
The velcro rounds are obviously the way to stick them on the house. I made the smileys big enough for her to handle them without tearing them apart from the sticker layer on the foam (it was the only foam they were selling at the time, not ideal, but it works for now).
Besides the happy smileys, I also made a few unhappy smileys for whenever my daughter isn't behaving as she should. I don't plan on overusing them, but only when she really knows that something's not acceptable. At first I thought of her getting a red one whenever she had an accident, but while potty training (and making immense progress in only a few days) I decided it's not needed as she's doing so well. I will save that story for another post, because I'm so proud of her learning this on such short notice, that it's worth a seperate post.
We decided she needs to earn 10 smileys to get a reward. The first days we went for an ice cream because she seemed very motivated to get that (it was 33 degrees, so I understand haha), but this can be anything we communicate with here on forehand. As she didn't dare to do a number 2 on the toilet first, we decided to set the reward for a number 2 at 3 smileys, while a number 1 is only one. When her night diaper is dry in the morning, she also gets an extra smiley. We are being flexible about how to use the reward board, and I think in a few days I will think of some new things to add on it as well. This is how it looks at the moment:
I know it's not perfect, but it is to her (loving how a child is satisfied with such a small thing), and I will hopefully add more to the board soon. Without giving away everything that I want to share in my next posts, it worked very well! And is a huge motivation for her. I see her growing up so quickly the past weeks and I'm so so so proud of her...